WOD 30 June 2013

30 Jun

photo (8)Level 2

Squat snatch 3-3-3-3-3

Toes to bar – 3 x max effort

12 minute as many rounds as possible of:
3 Push press (35/25kg)
5 Sumo deadlift high pull
10 Box jumps

Level 3

Within the Level 2 class you have the option of doing:

Hang squat snatch 2-2-2-2-2-2

Back squat 2RM

12 minute as many rounds as possible of:
3 Push press (50/35kg)
5 Sumo deadlift high pull
10 Box jumps

WOD 29 June 2013

29 Jun
Keep Working At It
Keep Working At It

Level 2

Deadlift 5-5-5

Push ups – technique

A look at standards and scaling options. But not too much effort because:

“Barbara” five rounds for time of:
20 pull ups
30 push ups
40 sit ups
50 squats
Take 3 minutes rest at then end of each round.

Links & News

Occasionally I write a blog about my personal experiences with Crossfit: click here.

And you may not realise but CrossFit London is sponsoring this guy on his journey around the world raising money for charities: click here.

WOD 28 June 2013

28 Jun

photo (7)Level 2

Clean & jerk 2-2-2-2-2

Pistols – technique

Tabata kettlebell swings 20kg/12kg
Tabata push press 35kg/20kg
Score is total reps across all 16 rounds

Level 3

Snatch + hang squat snatch + high hang squat snatch x 6

Back squat 3-3-3-3-3-3 (60s rest)

Tabata kettlebell swings 24kg/16kg
Tabata push press 52.5kg/30kg
Score is total reps across all 16 rounds


Level 2 isn’t so scary

27 Jun

If you are new to us at CrossFit SE11 or CrossFit London then this post is for you.

We understand that you come through your Level 1 classes full of beans. Eager to learn all the movements. Soaking up all those cues and gearing yourself up for a prosperous future with CrossFit.

But then the moment arrives when school’s out and it’s time to actually get on with it. The pace is set to increase and that’s when some people can get a little scared. After all, you saw a few classes whilst you were waiting for the Level 1 to start and those guys looked like they were working bloody hard. Do I really want to put myself through that?

I want to let you know it ain’t so bad.

Level 2 is all about building up some consistency in the movements you just learnt. It’s not about throwing you to the lions and watching you get torn apart. One of the great things about CrossFit is that it is very inclusive of all people, all ages, all abilities, all levels of fitness.

You are privy to some of the finest CrossFit trainers in London who have the experience and know-how to scale all of the movements up or down. To select weights that are appropriate to you so that you will be challenged but not pushed so far that you lose good form.

Will you have to work hard? Of course, but then you came to us looking to be an all over fitness badass and for that you need to put in the hard slog. But remember that you don’t have to kill yourself in the process and you won’t be expected to by us.

The teams in Vauxhall and Bethnal Green want to make your experience with us fun and enjoyable whilst conducive to turning you into a well oiled fitness machine able to be stronger, faster, and generally more amazing. On top of that you are getting involved with a gym that has an amazingly supportive community that holds it all together so it’s not just the coaches that have got your back, but also your fellow members.

So don’t be afraid of those Level 2 classes, despite the fact we look like we’re in pain, we’re actually having a pretty awesome time.

WOD 27 June 2013

27 Jun

photo (6)

Level 2

Push press 5-5-5-3-3-3

Handstands – technique work

8 minutes AMRAP of burpees.

Level 3

Clean & jerk 5 x 3+1 (75%)

Front squat 5-4-4-3-3

8 minutes AMRAP of burpees.

Olympic lifting: the ‘j’ word

We have discussed between trainers previously how difficult it is to avoid using the ‘j’ word when we are coaching the Olympic lifts. As we continue to expose ourselves to different methods and points-of-view we realise that by using the ‘j’ it can often lead to some poor technique further down the line.

In our experience telling people to jump can be a useful cue for beginners in thinking about moving the bar properly during the snatch or the clean & jerk. It helps to convey the notion that the arms shouldn’t be driving the lift.

However, what can often happen is that by thinking of the snatch or clean as a jump will then introduce a donkey kick to the lifts whereby the lifter is extending a few inches into the air before landing into the receiving position.

When performing the lifts, the feet should be extended only enough to allow them to move laterally into the receiving position. As we discovered during our recent work with Don McCauley is that when you think of the movement as a jump, both the bar and lifter are travelling upwards. When what is needed is for the bar to keep going up but your job is to be travelling downwards. To clarify, you need to be pulling yourself under the bar.

Solutions to too much jump include snatch balances, lifts performed from the high hang, lifting with flat feet and McCauley’s dirty dancing drill which we have found to be effective and a great warm up.

Even though we might occasionally let the ‘j’ word slip. Please remember that your Oly lifts are not really about jumping the bar of the ground. The aim is for fast feet, not high feet.

Links & News

CrossFit going bigger and shinier than ever.

WOD 26 June 2013

25 Jun

photo (1)

Level 2

Front squat 3-3-3-3-3

Ring dips – Tabata

12 minutes upward ladder, 2,4,6,8 etc of deadlifts and handstand push ups

Level 2 weight; 70kg/45kg

Level 3 weight; 100kg/70kg


Back on the Paleo Quest:

I have a love hate relationship with Paleo. I love it because it does wonders for my skin, makes me feel great and, well, keeps things moving if you get me. I hate it because I can’t eat Nutella from the jar or croissants.

However, I have come to realise I just need to get more inventive with my meals (there is only so many times I can eat leaves, chicken and a few solitary sweet potato wedges from my Tupperware without reaching for the Ben and Jerry’s) if I am ever going to maintain consistency, which is what I need to find.

paleOMG is my favorite for Paleo-friendly recipes, the meals taste great, are generally pretty quick and easy and their blueberry muffins? Well just try yourself!

WOD 25 June 2013

25 Jun

photo (2)Level 2

Power snatch 3-3-3-3-3

Double unders – technique work

4 rounds for time:
30 double unders
10 overhead lunges 15/10kg
7 chest to bar pull ups

Level 3: 25/15kg plate

Level 3

Power clean and push jerk 3-3-3-3-3

Pull up 2RM

4 rounds for time:
30 double unders
10 overhead lunges 25/15kg
7 chest to bar pull ups

Improving lockout on handstand and overhead work

CrossFit London (E2) hosted a gymnastics seminar last weekend with Christopher Sommer, author of Building the Gymnastics Body and an elite level US gymnastics coach.

The seminar covered lots of mobility and stretching, some handstand work, more stretching and mobility, ring work, more stretching, parallel bar work, mobility, lever progressions and yes, more stretching and mobility work.

One of the best tips I took away from this day was how to improve poor lockout on handstand. There are plenty of you out there, and me too, who struggle with maintaining a lock out in handstand and overhead.

The advice we were given? Stretch the wrists. A lot! Most of the stretches they went over weren’t new, although the emphasis on keeping the elbows fully locked as you stretched was great advice and not to be afraid to really challenge them. Makes sense since you’re planning on kicking up to handstand and putting the whole weight of your body in to them.

Any wrist stretches you can find are likely to help but if you want to know what was covered then get down to class and ask me. Alternatively get your bum to CrossFit SE11’s new midweek adult gymnastics classes kicking of this evening in Vauxhall. Amelia often uses the same stretches that Coach Sommer went over in her warm ups.

Links and News

Speaking of gymnastics tips. Do you know what piroutte bailing is? Find out here.

The dip. No not the ring dip. The dip you do when you push press, push jerk or split jerk. Lift Big Eat Big discusses it here.

Learn the Olympic lifts with a Commonwealth gold medalist

24 Jun


Crossfit SE11 is delighted to be able to play host to Giles Greenwood, the former Commonwealth gold medalist to run a 3 hour Olympic weightlifting masterclass here in London.

The goal of a Greenwood Weightlifting (GWL) workshop is to improve your technique with heavy weights on the snatch and clean & jerk. At the end of the workshop you should have a better understanding of the key positions in the lifts, variation between lifters and the technique that is right for you.

You can use the knowledge and practice gained during the workshop to improve your programming and increase your personal bests. The session starts with a short talk about technique in the snatch and clean, particularly the pull. The aim of the talk is to present weightlifting technique in a simple and accessible way to give you a clear understanding of what we hope to achieve in the practical section. Followed by some pre-lifting Q&A’s.

Once the talking is done it’s time to put the theory into action. A warm up using the GWL teaching sequence to correct form and reinforce good habits leads on to a run up to 1RM’s on both snatch and clean & jerk. Not necessarily PB’s (although that’s always nice!) but it’s useful to see where your form starts to break down so you know what to look out for in future.

After all that there’s usually time for some more Q&A’s so you can ask the question you didn’t think of earlier. The whole workshop should last 3 hours and is a measly £40.

To get your ticket, click here. It will take you to the Workshops & Seminars section of our booking system. Remember to scroll down past the other fantastic events on mobility, levers and running.

The workshop will take place on Saturday 28th July 2013 at 2pm at CrossFit SE11, Vauxhall.


Muscle ups and levers

23 Jun


It doesn’t matter how badass you are with your squat and deadlift, you cannot claim to have true strength unless you can perform reps with just your bodyweight on fundamentals like pull ups and dips.

Such basics need daily attention in order to improve. Once you can say you can perform unassisted pull ups and ring dips you can then begin working towards the other tougher movements and skills we perform at the gym and one of the most revered is the muscle up.

So hurry up and get that pull up bar on your door frames at home! Set up your rings and start working the support and then the dip!

photoHaving said that, if only the muscle up was as simple as jumping on the rings and doing a pull up followed by a dip. Even if you can rattle out pull up after pull up after ring dip, there is still a lot more to this skill. As so often is the case, technique most be honed and you must get familiar with how to transition from below to above.

We are holding another Alex Jerrom masterclass on muscle ups and levers at CrossFit London SE11 in Vauxhall.

Even if you are still working towards your first pull up and ring dip, this masterclass will provide you with a path on how to eventually achieve the muscle up, demonstrating progressions that will bring you closer to the full movement.

Alex will also cover front and back levers, suspending your horizontal body position on bar or rings. It is again the case that you will need to master the foundations first, as without a solid hollow position and good mobility the full movement is going to elude you for now. But working through floor drills and scaled movements will bring you closer and provide insight into how to get from A to B.

Alex has spent twelve years as a gymnast and four years as head coach at East London Gymnastics Club, giving him a wealth of experience in teaching gymnastics to all ages and abilities.

Expect to leave with a better understanding of these gymnastics staples plus a review of all the foundation movements you need to be working and building upon in order to achieve them.

The masterclass will take place on Saturday 13 July 2013 at 2pm.

Get yourself booked on to the course here.

Coach Spotlight: Rachel Entwistle

09 Jun

Rachel 1You think you know your coaches? Think again.

Actually you probably do know Rachel pretty well. She’s a regular class attendee, our rope and aerial specialist, and runs regular classes at both CrossFit London UK and CrossFit SE11. So she’s always hanging around. She’s also not afraid to laugh at herself and is quick to let everyone know when she thinks her own rep was a bit ropey.

Ok, no more rope puns. On with the questions:

Most memorable CrossFit London moment?

My first Thursday night class with Kat coaching where I stuffed most the boys with my pull ups and got a really good metcon time. As I was pretty new, I was smiling ear to ear. When I left, Kat said to me: ‘great work Rachel’.

Favourite thing about CrossFit SE11?

The thinner pull up bar! And the view of London walking to the box. Oh and Basil.

Favourite cheat food?

I have to choose one? 

Describe your dietary approach?

Still trying to find the prefect balance for me, as the answer above would suggest I have a wicked sweet tooth and grew up around pies and bread and butter pudding.

I TRY to follow pretty much a paleo ethos, but have things like porridge in the morning and clearly the odd (ahem) treat. Most important for me is to try keep gluten-free.

Favourite workout music?

Drum and bass/dub step/dance.

Back squat or front squat?

Back squat (though I should front squat more)

If you were a CrossFit movement, what would you be? 

I would be a power clean. Short, stumpy and pretty easy to get along with.

photo (12)If you were a gladiator from the TV series, what would your name be?

Easy. T-Rex!

Other than CrossFit London/SE11, do you do any other work?

I work as a freelance dancer/aerialist. I teach aerial skills at a couple of schools in London, mainly trapeze, rope and some silks. I also perform aerial and am also part of a dance theater duet. 

Most hated workout (girl/hero?)

Anything with a run.

Favourite workout (girl/hero?)

Probably ‘Diane’.

Favourite movement to teach?

Cleans or pull ups

What advice would you give someone new to CrossFit?

Take your time and don’t compare yourself to everyone else. Lots of the movements are complex and take a long time to understand (even then, getting your body to do what you want is another story!) Don’t expect to build strength overnight. Its a long but fun and rewarding journey and you never really stop learning, there is always something to work on. 

Of the ten physical skills CrossFit aims to improve, which are you best at? (endurance, strength, stamina, endurance, flexibility, accuracy, power, speed, coordination, balance)

Strength and power.

And worst?

Endurance and stamina

Tell me about a member or client who inspires you?

Lots of the members inspire me for very different reasons, some for their commitment and ownership over their own training, some for their attitude and some for the progress they make week in week out.

Kate Pankhurst’s journey of CrossFit is amazing and inspiring for anyone, also Alex Douglas never fails to impress me in a WOD.

Rachel 2

What motivates you during a workout and gets you through?

The thought that it has to end at some point get me through. I also picture that six pack I know is just waiting to bust on out. Trying to beat the boys is always fun too!

If someone asked you how to get their first pull up. What would you suggest?

Practice. Lots! With a spotter, with a band, negatives, tackle it from every angle. You have to keep consistent though, pull ups are something that drop quickly if you don’t do them regularly. Luckily at CrossFit London and SE11, we do!

What was your last PR? 

Weighed pull up (22 kg) and free stand handstand about 20 seconds

What’s your middle name?


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